CoinGecko Podcast - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Insights

Diving into Stablecoins and Unit of Accounts with Evan Kuo, Founder and CEO of Ampleforth - Ep. 43

December 24, 2021 Ben Hor Season 1 Episode 43
CoinGecko Podcast - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Insights
Diving into Stablecoins and Unit of Accounts with Evan Kuo, Founder and CEO of Ampleforth - Ep. 43
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Ben, research analyst at CoinGecko is joined by Evan Kuo, Founder and CEO of Ampleforth. Evan gives us an insight into the mechanism of Ampleforth, its algorithmic unit of account AMPL, and how he thinks stablecoin will evolve and co-exist with fiat.

[00:00:40] Intro
[00:01:08] Evan's background and how he started in crypto
[00:04:10] What is AMPL?
[00:06:12] AMPL versus stablecoin
[00:09:09] What separates AMPL from other units of account?
[00:13:50] Thoughts on the stablecoin mechanisms
[00:18:16] The mechanism of Ampleforth protocol
[00:20:33] How do we increase adoption of stablecoin outside crypto?
[00:25:25] Thoughts on regulator’s concern on stablecoin risk
[00:27:25] Will stablecoins replace fiat currency?
[00:29:28] Ampleforth’s plan for the next five years

Quotes from the episode:

“So what can't Bitcoin do? What can't ETH do? Well, they're vulnerable to unit price volatility, and that undermines their ability to be used for contract denomination.” [00:13:24]

We need to build a decentralized unit of account that is better than existing alternatives.” [00:13:34]

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Bobby Ong [00:00:00]:
Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast. I'm your host, Bobby Ong. Each week, we will be interviewing someone from the blockchain industry to learn more about this fast moving cryptocurrency economy. And this is your first time listening then, thanks for coming. The CoinGecko podcast is produced each week to help you stay ahead of the curve. Show notes can be found at Highly encourage you to join our newsletter where we send out top news in the crypto industry every Monday to Friday. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow us on Twitter and Telegram at CoinGecko.

Ben Hor
Hello everybody. My name is Ben. I am a analyst at CoinGecko. And for today's podcast, I will actually be having Evan Kuo, the founder of Ampleforth today on the session. Hi Evan, if you could just say hi to everybody.

Evan Kuo [00:00:51]:
Hey everyone. It's great to be here. I'm a big fan of CoinGecko, one of the more reliable places to get information about coins. Thanks for having me.

Ben Hor [00:01:00]:
So just a reminder before we get into it if Eric would like, and subscribe, that'd be great. Well, let's just get right into it, right. So Evan, you know, before anything, right? We always ask our speakers, how did you get started with crypto?

Evan Kuo [00:01:13]:
Yeah, I mean that's a good question. I guess. You know, my background originally is in engineering. I went to UC Berkeley and I think I was working at a startup, there is a friend of mine who is more libertarian in his political views, got really excited about the Bitcoin paper. And I remember reading it and I guess thinking about it and I kind of walked away with two thoughts. One, you know, this is a very unscalable design. So it was like, why would somebody design a system like this? And two, this is difficult to understand and it's also fixed supply. Didn't we once have a gold standard? Like, you know, aren't we away from fixed supply? Why would we want to go back in time, go back to something like that? And so I was a little bit skeptical that it could be adopted because it was so complicated to understand it seemed, right? And also didn't seem very scalable, right? From a technical design perspective. But you know, the thought continued to evolve, in the back of my head, as I kind of just went back to daily life and would check in from time to time to see like what had changed, right? How had the universe evolved with respect to Bitcoin? And, you know, it, it became clear to me that it was designed in this so-called unscalable way because it needed to be censorship resistant, right? In the past. many time somebody tried to introduce something that was like a non-sovereign currency, even things like the Liberty dollar it had been quickly regulated and shut down. And so they had to give up a lot of technical scalability for the social scalability, right? And for this censorship resistance. And then the other thing that stuck with me over time is that there really was a bit of a breakthrough here in the sense that the Bitcoin protocol was successful in creating a scarcity in a purely digital context. So prior to that, I don't think I had seen any other example of scarcity in the digital world. Every file is already a copy of a copy of a copy image by the time it gets to your browser has been replicated by CDNs. There is no scarcity on the internet. And then all of a sudden, you know, the Bitcoin protocol will, you know, by maintaining this kind of universal record, they have created scarcity in a purely digital context. And so that was my introduction to crypto. Those were the two thoughts that kind of stuck with me. Eventually I met up with my co-founder Brandon Iles who's also an engineer, but he was working at Google when I originally met him on search. And then eventually at Uber, he had been following crypto independently as well. And we were starting to get a little bit more excited about the launch of Ethereum and you know, what could be done now that you have this kind of programming platform. Like it was an invitation to create a new type of asset and so we went down this journey of like, well, what, what types of assets, spots to be created? And that was you know, not as obvious as it might sound. So that's how I got into crypto.

Ben Hor [00:03:56]:
Yeah, I guess you already kind of give us a hint about where AMPL will actually be. So you mentioned about how you found that there were a lot of scalability issues and then you also question fixed supply rates, which really blends in well to the next question right? So what is AMPL? Not Ampleforth.

Evan Kuo [00:04:12]:
Right. So AMPL is actually a decentralized, fully algorithmic unit of account. It has a very simple protocol when the price exchange rate of AMPL to the US dollar is over one, the protocol automatically increases the quantity of tokens across all user wallets, proportionally. And when the price exchange rate of AMPL is less than one US dollar, it proportionally decreases the quantity of tokens across user wallets. And this protocol has the effect of translating or transferring the volatility of demand from the price per token, to the quantity of tokens in user wallets. And for this reason, you can start to use it as, a decentralized building block. And, you know, I'll note that we now have kind of about two and a half years of life market data observing kind of AMPL in action. And you could basically say that this simple protocol has the effect of separating the assets, price volatility distribution from its stock volatility distribution. So AMPL has this kind of mean reverting price, right? Where it's kind of normally distributed around the target value of 1 2019 US dollar, but it has this kind of fat-tailed stock volatility, that's common to equities and cryptocurrencies and such. And so by kind of separating its price volatility from its stock volatility, you can start to denominate stable contracts with AMPL. Unlike a stablecoin, the AMPL does not seek to eliminate volatility, it just kind of transfers volatility. And for that reason it's kind of unbreakable and also a bit more censorship resistant. It doesn't rely on collaterals fully algorithmic the way Bitcoin is. And it's also unbreakable in the sense that like natural market forces, like a sudden increase in demand or decrease in demand can't really cause it to break that I think is really important, from the perspective of a building block, especially, you know, based on what we've seen from other decentralized approaches just in the past couple of years.

Ben Hor [00:06:12]:
So, you know, taking a step back, right. You kind of explain what AMPL is. AMPL is a form of stablecoin, right?

Evan Kuo [00:06:19]:
No, because it's actually, it's not stable. Hah. Right, so people always, really, really want to call us a stable coin because that's something that's very well understood in the industry. There are floating price tokens, and they're stablecoins. Right. Because AMPL has this price target people really, really want to call it an algorithmic stablecoin, but I don't call it that. I really don't believe that it is because it's not stable. It's not a refuge from volatility. If you were to hold AMPL and the market demand for AMPL increases, a thousand fold, the value of your stack would multiply by a thousand. You would just have more units each approximately worth a dollar. A stable coin where, you know, we've seen, the market cap of USDC grow to something like 40 billion over the course of the last year, holders of USDC didn't see massive returns. Similarly, if the market cap of USD C decreases, they don't lose money. It's a refuge from volatility whereas AMPL is actually a unit of account, meaning it can be used for contract denomination. I'll give you a really quick example of this like, imagine you wanted to borrow, let's say $2 million dollars worth of value to purchase a house over a 30 year mortgage. And let's just say you did this 10 years ago and you did denominated in Bitcoin and you're like, I'm in about 10,000 Bitcoin to be paid off over the next 30 years. And I'm going to start making these mortgage payments in Bitcoin. Well, cut to today. You'd be 10 years into this 30 year mortgage. And on the hook for $30 billion of Bitcoin or something, to be paid off. You wouldn't ever want to denominate a long-term contract like that with an asset like Bitcoin, because if it suddenly appreciates quite a bit or depreciates, that changes kind of your debt obligation and alternatively with something like AMPL, you could denominate such a contract, right? If AMPL exists 10 years ago and we denominated a 2 million AMPL loan and we were 10 years into it, you'd still really be on the hook for that 2 million AMPL, which is approximately $2 million over time. Even if the market cap of AMPL were to profoundly grow or shrink. So what's important about it is it can be used to denominate contracts in spite of secular increases and decreases in demand. And the other thing that's really important about it is its durability. It cannot really break. So like Bitcoin, although Bitcoin is unbreakable, it can't be used for contract denomination. So AMPL is similarly unbreakable and it can be used for contract denomination. And now we're starting to see that really basic use case take place on decentralized platforms. But there's far more to come and I'm happy to talk to you about that, but I did want to clarify the difference between a unit of account and a stablecoin.

Ben Hor [00:08:55]:
It's very interesting, right? Because even like for me, I generally tend to equate unit accounts, oh, you're a stablecoin, right.? But as you clearly showed, there's a subtle difference, which it's quite distinct. So, next question comes, right? So what separates AMPL from other unit of count slash stablecoins?

Evan Kuo [00:09:13]:
I mean, I, I don't think there are any other unit of accounts so to speak that have decided to isolate that function of money from the other functions. It's funny, we tend to think of money as just this really well understood thing. Like the dollar, right? Which is a unit of account, it's a medium exchange, it's a store of value. And so anything that resembles the dollars, you know, what we call money. But I would say, there's really nothing. There are no other projects that have decided to focus so much on just this one particular function of money. And for this reason, almost all of the other stablecoin attempts are either very easy to regulate because they're sent centralized fundamentally. They have kind of, you know, traditional assets in their collateral or very unreliable because you know, they're using cryptocurrencies as collateral or they're using debt issuance like bonds and such, I think a successful stablecoin would be one that is largely kind of independent from regulation, right? Just kind of decentralized, right? But also robust, something that, you know, can't really break by natural market forces. And so, typically when I think of stablecoins, I think of them existing in three common approaches. One is the, you know, the, the, the traditional centralized stablecoin, right? Which is easy to write. And then when I think of decentralized stablecoins, I think of another set of common approaches. One is the bond token approach where you issue debt to be paid off in the future when the network grows, to facilitate a contraction. You know, there are crypto collateralized approaches, which are vulnerable to the underlying collateral and they're fractionally collateralized approaches, which are even more vulnerable to the underlying collateral. And so with the debt based approaches, it's very straightforward for me to say that these sorts of bond or coupon tokens, they struggle in surviving secular decreases in demand. So imagine that you, you first have, let's say, a $1 billion market cap and all of a sudden, the market shrinks to the point where there's only demand for 500 million and you issue kind of bonds, right, to be paid back at some point in the future when the market cap stretches back to that former high watermark value. Now imagine that it doesn't stretch back to that high water market value for a very long period of time. These debt-based approaches kind of at that point, magnify in stability because the value of the bond kind of really erodes over time and secular decreases in demand kind of occur naturally in all markets. And so that's the fundamental flaw. And really they borrowed this debt-based kind of approach from more centralized, like central banks, which are very different because, you know, if you're a sovereign money at the authority, then you have a monopoly, you can bail it out, right? You have the ability to bail out these systems, but as a decentralized system, there's no one to bail you out. We don't have a monopoly. And so people kind of lose faith in the debt. You know, the system kind of falls apart. So, I mean, we've seen examples of this like basis, basis, cash elastic, set, dollar, Fay, all of these have, you know, that flaw. With crypto collateralized approaches, this is slightly more promising because there's some kind of collateral in there, but if the collateral is fully decentralized and states ETH, right? In the example of DAI, you can kind of look back to Black Thursday when cryptocurrencies that supported that collateral fell in value. The system really started to fall apart. And since then, they've just rotated in USDC as a collateral, which is just a traditional asset. So they kind of, you've got this, this decentralized stablecoin that's just collateralized by a centralized stablecoin. And so, obviously that's not ideal. There are promising futures. I think that eventually purely on chain collateral can and can become much more robust and, and be rotated into these solutions as an alternative to USDC. But as it stands right now, it's not ideal. And lastly, I would say the fractionally collateralized approaches are similarly vulnerable to volatility of the underlying collateral. If you're only promising 50% collateralization instead of 150% collateralization, and it's all ETH and ETH Price crashes near even more vulnerable to your collateral. That's how I see the landscape today. It's really either something very centralized and easy to regulate or something highly unreliable. We kind of understood this when we were designing AMPL, we were like, we want something that actually can't break, but advances the space, right? So what can't Bitcoin do? What can't ETH do? Well, they're vulnerable to unit price volatility, and that undermines their ability to be used for contract denomination. And if we are going to build this decentralized alternative to traditional finance, we're going to need to be able to denominate basic contracts in a robust. And that's how we got to AMPL, which is, you know, a simple unit of account, but its simplicity is its strength. It can't break by natural market forces.

Ben Hor [00:13:50]:
So I'm just going to jump a bit here, right? Because you mentioned that, you know, you categorize the different stablecoin, the stablecoin that you shared is quite interesting. Cause, a lot of them effectively, you know, they try to peg themselves at one US dollar, right? But then there's actually a branch of products coming out. The one I have in mind is RAI, who classify themselves stable assets and they kind of, you know, they have a floating peg. They don't peg themselves as US dollar. It's not really a unit of account, but more like a collateral. What are your thoughts?

Evan Kuo [00:14:17]:
I mean in general, I, I'm a fan of this unbundling of functions of money, because I think attempting to solve all the problems at once leaves you in a very unreliable space, right? As I said, with central bank systems, there's a sovereign monopoly that allows for certain things to kind of work that wouldn't work in a purely decentralized context. And so when you mentioned things like Bri, which cannot be used as a stable unit of account, maybe you don't want it to denominate a contract in something like that, right? But it is a bit of a refuge from volatility now. Like I think it kind of just dilates time, so to speak. And that's an interesting thought there. The way we see the future unfolding is actually pretty interesting. And I'm willing to share that too, in terms of getting closer to a safe asset collateral, if you can follow this kind of simple thought, it's that like, these assets like AMPL and Bitcoin and ETH, they have this underlying volatility to it, right? And what I think needs to happen next is we need to create methods of resegmenting that volatility. And I'll give you a really simple example of it. You can just imagine AMPL it has these supply changes, right? And you can create a derivative or a set of directives that say, like, let's just say 90% of you depositing AMPL into a contract, 90% of the supply changes will go to this bond, right? And it will be almost hyper volatile in supply. And 10% will go to this bond, which will be deleveraged, less volatile than the, the original AMPL, right. By resegmenting the underlying risk of something like AMPL into, junior and senior tranches respectively, you can produce the combination of a leverage instrument and a safe asset, and that safe asset can be used as collateral by the issuer or of a crypto collateralized stablecoin. You could imagine someone like DAI rotating out a little bit of their USDC for a safe asset, which is just a claim on the underlying volatility of another asset. And so I really think that this kind of layer that resegments the underlying risk of purely on chain currencies, into tranched bond can then provide the building blocks of kind of safe asset collateral that would allow us to create a robust and decentralized crypto collateralized stablecoins. So in that way, AMPL is, you know, a really good input into that system because you could do all that trenching on the application layer without any sort of Oracle risk really right? Because, you're creating a derivative ultimately, and a derivative is just a special type of financial contract that connects with an underlying asset. And with something like AMPL as an input it's already built for contract denomination. So like I said earlier, the, the simplest use case of a unit of account like AMPL is, you know, debt denomination, which we see kind of taking place on AAVE, makes a lot of sense to kind of blend and borrow AMPL, but the next really kind of interesting grouping of functionalities is for the denomination of derivatives. And these derivatives can be used to resegment underlying risks, such that you can produce a very transparent and robust, safe asset, which then could be the collateral for crypto collateralized stablecoins. So that's my long-winded way of answering, like how we kind of connect the dots from something that's an unbreakable unit of account that can only be used for contract denomination, but not as a refuge for volatility into a safe asset that can, can really do both. It requires this kind of in-between refinement process, not unlike refining crude oil into gasoline and kerosene and, and then being able to use the gasoline and putting into a car to drive it right? I think if you ask too much and you say, well, I simply want to be able to dig into the ground and take thatblack petroleum put into my car and drive it, and I'm going to put all of that work into the engine of the car, you're, you're setting yourself up for disappoint ,and that, that's what we see with a lot of these more verticalized approaches to complex, stablecoin systems. What's missing is a simple refinement process. That's very now I guess.

Ben Hor [00:18:10]:
Yeah, yeah exactly. I was just thinking this energy is actually perfect. It gives a very good overview of what the problem and the solution kind of is. Let's take a step back, right? So we understand that Ampleforth it's supply driven right? If I have 900 Ampleforth today I may have 1000 Ampleforth tomorrow or 800, right? Basically the coins are burned or sent to my wallet. Is something like that. And this is where actually I want to ask about the technical considerations, right? So how does this work, right? Well, For example if Ampleforth for some exchange, can that happen? Yeah. How does this work?

Evan Kuo [00:18:43]:
Yeah. One of the key technical innovations here is that the Ampleforth protocol allows us to increase or decrease the quantity of tokens in user wallets without a transaction between peers, because of the beauty of smart contract programming platforms, the manner in which we increase and decrease, not we so much as the protocol increases or decreases, the quantity of tokens is by adjusting a scaler global variable. You can think of it as a coefficient of expansion. They increased that coefficient than the number of units across all wallets increases. They decrease it, the number of units across all wallets decreases. And this is actually one of these things that really could not have been made possible without these layer one platforms and smart contract programming platforms. You can't really imagine executing a policy like this a fiat paper world. Like how are you going to coordinate the burning of everybody's paper money, and then airdropping, you know, new paper money to people's wallets. It couldn't have been really executed in any way. But with kind of the infrastructure that we have today, it can. And that's what allows the policy to work, because if we had to actually transact to all of our holders, that would be prohibitively expensive from a gas perspective, it would take a long, long time. You know, obviously we've been, how would you reverse airdrop, hundreds of thousands? You can't really do that. So it really is kind of the nature of that global scalar coefficient of expansion that makes it possible.

Ben Hor [00:20:11]:
Yeah. I mean, that's really cool right? It's only possible with smart contracts.

Evan Kuo [00:20:15]:
Yeah. Yeah. It's cool to do things that can only be done with blockchain technology. Yet so many things that we see happening, like we could have done that with a simple bank, or we could have done that with this, you know, centralized server. We could have done that, you know, 50 years ago, but there are a few things that simply could not have been done until now.

Ben Hor [00:20:33]:
Okay. So kind of taking a step back into like the stablecoin ecosystem, right? So as we all know, the stablecoin system slash unit of account is incredibly competitive, right? It's often decided by liquidity mining incentives. So, is this a sustainable way of increasing adoption? If not, how else can we approve this? And, you know, we normally always think about the crypto world, but then again, how do we actually bring this adoption outside crypto to the everyday life of regular non-degens?

Evan Kuo [00:21:04]:
Yeah, I think about this a lot or I get asked this a lot, like when will we be spending crypto instead of dollars, right?

Ben Hor [00:21:12]:

Evan Kuo [00:21:13]:
I think that it will take time. I mean, what's being created with decentralized finance is almost like a global public infrastructure for finance, right? And just because it's global and digital and public doesn't mean it's better than the centralized analog, right? Like another analogy is that imagine that you live in a country with really fast internet. But there exists this kind of free global internet as well. If you have fast internet, you should just use fast internet, right? If you don't you you'd be very kind of wise to tap into this free global infrastructure and, you know, it's very existence would pressure kind of your government to create a reasonably fast internet in order for it to kind of, have a position in that marketplace, if it wants to, right? Or if you have internet access, that's highly censored, but fast, maybe you'd want to use this global public internet for access to kind of sensitive information or whatever. It's existence creates a little bit of competitive pressure and I think decentral, at least finances is like that as well. I mean, the hope is that we can create some sort of viable alternative to the traditional system, but, you know, in the early days it's going to be like, you know, the free PBS version of finance. What is cool about it though, is there's also a lot of speculative interest to it. Most people purchase cryptocurrencies because they're looking to diversify their portfolios, that they want to have a position in, in an asset class that they believe to be growing or they want to kind of join a cause that they think is valuable. And I think that the primary kind of vehicle for adoption in first world countries like the United States of cryptocurrency is going to be driven by speculation and portfolio management, because we do have a basic banking system and access to kind of stable currencies. And I think if anything, it's like, okay, there's a bit of inflation pressure. How do I kind of check against that loan? I'm going to buy some stuff, I'm going to buy some equities, I'm going to buy some cryptocurrencies, I'm going to buy some commodities, I might even buy luxury goods. Right? I don't want to sit on a bunch of cash because I'm worried about some inflation. And that will be the first exposure I think, to cryptocurrencies for most people. With stablecoins, I see a lot of adoption taking place just within the universe of crypto, right? Like I said, all lending and borrowing is pretty primarily denominated in, you know, centralized, stablecoins. Obviously with regulation around the corner you know, we might see kind of a little bit of fragmentation, but there's a lot of people who also just understand that it's important to kind of start to use these decentralized systems. And in the case of AMPL, they're actually really interesting. It's speculative quirks, right? To lending and borrowing and building with this asset. I think for a lot of these existing projects who already have USDC in their kind of collateral, decentralized, alternative, safe asset would be a natural fit in that. It is a very competitive space. There are just two really successful centralized stablecoins to be clear there's tether and there's USDC, they're kind of dominating. There's this kind of, you know, broader menu of decentralized so-called decentralized stablecoins, many of which have crypto in their collateral, right? Many of which have USDC in their collateral. And it's always kind of like a black fly in the soup to be like, proclaiming to be this decentralized stablecoin, but we have USDC and our inner collateral. I think that a good safe asset like the one I described earlier, like a derivative of something like AMPL could be the friend of all of these existing crypto collateralized, stablecoins in a non-competitive play. They could start to rotate out their traditional assets, which are kind of something they have to wave their hand and explain and say like, okay, this is temporary, we're eventually going to put something else in here. And then at the end, variety is good, right? Having a lot of options, a lot of choices is what crypto is all about. I mean, money has been a monopoly forever since its inception. And so this is the beginning of, of choice. And so I think there are very clear kind of economic hurdles that need to be solved along the way, but eventually these safe assets will kind of just percolate into the background. I can even imagine some of the centralized stable coins one day adopting, launching safe asset collateral as an alternative, just normal banking.

Ben Hor [00:25:22]:
Okay. I mean really insightful piece, right? You know, recently there's a lot, a lot of us have been talking about the US Congress hearing, right? Cause I think about six hour session and they discuss a lot of different things. And it appears that the regulators are very concerned about stablecoins, particularly about the impact you have on the country, right in the US. What are your thoughts on this? Within the wider global context?

Evan Kuo [00:25:43]:
Yeah. I mean, I think in terms of stablecoin risk propagating into the broader global context, I mean, if it's centralized and it can be regulated, it probably will be in, and they're asking for bank like regulation. That's just something that we've expected from the beginning. I mean, like I said, when I, when I was first introduced to Bitcoin, I was like, how could they design a system so unscalable? And the answer was because they knew the regulation was inevitable or they had seen it. It actually surprises me today that folks are surprised to hear about stablecoin regulation, because it has been the historical precedent for so long. The interesting thing that I remember hearing was this concern about a concentration of economic power around stablecoins, because they know they can have such powerful network effects, particularly when they're used for international trade agreements. These people are very smart and they understand the risks of, of that. You know, if, if what that means is they're going to start limiting the size of centralized stablecoins or having kind of a finger on the pause button so they can freeze assets or inspect assets, then yeah, that, that will change a lot of things. But in general, all to be expected, this is why we wanted to build more robust and decentralized solution. And I think this is why many people have sought to build robust and decentralized solutions.

Ben Hor [00:27:04]:
Quite interesting. Throughout the conversation, the vibes I get from the witnesses themselves, they were trying to kind of reassure the US regulators. You know, we actually using USD to back our stablecoins. So this is actually good for the US economy.

Evan Kuo [00:27:17]:
If anything, it will accelerate kind of dollarization to some extent, but defaming the whole thing is probably a good approach.

Ben Hor [00:27:24]:
Yeah. Yeah. I thought it was quite smart. You know, this brings me back to stablecoins and fiat currencies. So do you see stablecoins replacing fiat currency completely? Is there room for both to exist? What about other stablecoins?

Evan Kuo [00:27:36]:
I've kind of always held the opinion that for a very, very long time, both will exist. I mean, I kind of see this as following very simply from a hayekian thesis on competitive monies, right? Where, I mean, if you have read the nationalization of money, I mean, he proposed two things, one which is to open up the free trade which is in a way, allowing people of one country to use the currency of another country, if they, if they see fit. And the other thing that he proposed was to allow the issuance of independent money. So that kind of private issuers could also circulate money. The net effect of that, I think would be that you would lift the floor of the quality of money in the sense of where like if you're a country's money isn't really desirable and people can choose to use the money of another country, then your country has to kind of pick up the slack and execute better policy in order to compete. It lists the floor, raises the floor to the level of the best sovereign money. Yeah, and allowing the issuance of independent monies has the potential to raise the ceiling, right? Where like, because nobody has to use any independent money, it would have to compete on its basic merits or it wouldn't exist. And eventually, you would just see that lift all boats and you know, money would be better at kind of providing optionality, which is its main purpose. I think with crypto it's slightly different because nobody's opening the free trade of money willingly. These are all kind of independently issued monies and there was just kind of this global slow infrastructure, if you will, being created. And you know, there'll be used as a currency when there's no better option, and could it one day kind of lift the ceiling? Yeah. Yeah. But do I think that, you know, fiat money is going away now? I really don't. I think that it's going to be around for a very long time and I think that's okay. I think, you know, the very presence of optionality is the point.

Ben Hor [00:29:21]:
Well, you know, we talk about different topics, right? And I think now we'd come back to Ample, right? So the last question for today is, what are Ample's plans for the next five years? You have ambitious goals I presume?

Evan Kuo [00:29:34]:
Yeah, I think so. You know, one obvious thing is we're moving horizontally across the stack where from one chain to another, so that, you know, it can be used as a unit of account. But I think perhaps more interestingly the movement up the stack, right? Or at the base, all the, of this unit of account, right? And its first use case is debt denomination, right? It's next use cases, the denomination of derivatives, the output of which could be safe asset collateral to be used in the reserves of decentralized stablecoins. At that point, you know, we will have greatly evolved the infrastructure of crypto as we know it to be in a situation that could be robust. You know, we're really kind of starting to stimulate development on top of Ample where you kind of assume that the base asset is also a unit of account. And so, yeah, there are some interesting projects in that work, in that kind of vector that we're actively stimulating. So horizontal movement, vertical movement. But really we're in the next five years, we're hoping to get all of cryptocurrency from 13th century, Venice to 18th century, England, as one of my academic advisors, Manny often says, so it'll be it's kind of like an operation warp speed. How do we go from 13th century, Venice to 18th century, England, and five years, you know, talk to Manny. Yeah.

Ben Hor [00:30:49]:
I mean, crypto that's very normal, right? Everything is exaggerated. Okay. Thank you so much, Evan. Do you have any last words?

Evan Kuo [00:30:57]:
Yeah. I mean, I think just feel free to reach out to me. If you have any questions and visit, if you like to learn more about the project.

Ben Hor [00:31:05]:
Okay, thank you so much, Evan, for coming on board today. It was great to have you.

Evan Kuo [00:31:09]:
Yeah, thank you.

Bobby Ong [00:31:11] :
All right. That wraps up the show. Thank you for listening to the CoinGecko podcast. If you like our show and want to know more, check out or please leave us a review on iTunes. If you have any feedback, do drop us an email at Join us for more next week. See ya!

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